"Grief feels like love. Sometimes you press on that tender spot, because it’s as close as you can get to the person who is otherwise gone.” – Kate Brody
Posts tagged "family"
Kate Brody: Missing people, muddled lives

Kate Brody: Missing people, muddled lives

Kate Brody’s pacy debut thriller is a novel of our times. A missing woman, social media conspiracy theories, mental health issues, suspicion, trust, self-harm and family trauma are woven together to give us a troubling, riveting and sharply written noir set on America’s East Coast. What’s the worst that can happen when you’ve already lost...
The sparks of an obsession

The sparks of an obsession

I WAS EIGHT WHEN I REALISED that stories were not simply magic; that they didn’t arrive into the world already formed. Like puppies or babies or films. Two months before that birthday, the very first non-Congress government had swept to power in India, and with it, the end of the Emergency which had suspended civil...
Here or there

Here or there

Dan proposed to me the evening of his mother’s funeral. After saying goodbye to the last of our friends at the end of the wake, he grabbed a half-consumed bottle of wine and led me to the back of his parents’ yard, down by the compost bin and dying vegetable garden, where we squatted beside...
The man who spoke with butterflies

The man who spoke with butterflies

In the end, what does it matter who developed the photo? Why am I sifting through a time so far away, a moment that has already frozen and petrified, like a snail fossil in a stone among the billions of other stones that line the shore? I’d like to say a word in my defence,...
Embracing the unknown

Embracing the unknown

Gina Chung’s near-future debut novel Sea Change is narrated by 30-year-old Korean American aquarium worker Ro, whose menial job is uplifted by taking care of a magnificent, genetically mutated giant octopus called Dolores. Dolores was brought to the aquarium by Ro’s father two decades earlier, lifted from a highly polluted stretch of northern ocean known...
Catastrophe on the shore

Catastrophe on the shore

The boat had seemed large at the dock, but now that they’re rumbling away from Big Island, it seems flimsy and ludicrously small. Luda tries to think of the last time she’d been on a boat before coming to the islands. Years ago. Someone’s thirtieth birthday on the thick, marshy water of the Hopeturn River...
Familiar things

Familiar things

Aasmah Mir’s candid and eloquent memoir A Pebble in the Throat tells of her childhood in 1970s Glasgow, and traces in parallel the story of her mother Almas’ own life as a young woman in Pakistan in the 1950s before uprooting to Scotland. A love letter to Scotland, to heritage and to family, it doesn’t...
My grandmother

My grandmother

With some frequency, we hear readers ask authors how much of their novels they’ve pulled from their own lives, assuming that some if not most of the content must be autobiographical. One of the fascinating things about this memoir by Xesús Fraga is that readers ask the same thing, because it seems simply impossible that...
About my Aunt Nené

About my Aunt Nené

She spent her life clinging to the skirts of the mother who was also my mother’s mother which is to say mine and Betina’s grandmother. My grandmother’s skirts were like a priest’s cassock and her shoes were sturdy like men’s shoes while her hair was tied up in a black bun because her mother was...
Orlando Ortega-Medina: Love without borders

Orlando Ortega-Medina: Love without borders

Orlando Ortega-Medina’s riveting novel The Fitful Sleep of Immigrants wears its politics on its sleeve. Beyond the inclusion of the perennially hot-button word Immigrants in its title, one needs only to peel back the front cover and read the dedication to find the first direct iteration of its author’s message: “To the countless multinational same-sex...
Roughly organised, somewhat scattered

Roughly organised, somewhat scattered

Cecile Pin’s exceptional debut novel Wandering Souls is a beautiful and haunting look at the plight of Vietnamese refugees in 1970s France. Partly based on her mother’s experience of coming to the country as a refugee, it’s about identity, loss and trying to find a feeling of belonging – a very human picture of the sacrifices and...
Close at hand and out of reach

Close at hand and out of reach

Jonathan Escoffery’s debut novel is bold and beautiful. It’s told over seven interconnected stories and from different members of the same family. A Jamaican family come to the USA to find a better life for their sons Delano and Trelawny but things don’t work out as planned. When his parents split up Trelawny stays with...